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A Tale of Two Nations: Russia vs. USA Economic Prospects

Taking the extraordinary USA and EU economic sanctions against Russia and low oil prices since 2014 into account, Russia’s economic outlook looks excellent going forward while that of Trump’s America looks bleak, to put it mildly. Paraphrasing the memorable 1992 Presidential candidates debate between a then-young William Jefferson Clinton and George H.W. Bush, “It’s the debt, stupid.”

In the past few years too many US economists and analysts such as Moody’s Credit Rating have tried to dismiss the economy of the Russian Federation as a near-bankrupt Soviet-era oil and gas-dependent economy, devastated by the 2014 collapse in oil price. This is a grave mistake, especially so as military calculations of NATO in many cases depend on such poorly-informed and dated judgments. Here are just a few select examples of what is really going on in terms of cutting edge and even bleeding edge technology R&D and commercialization in Russia in the civilian sector. The West’s neo-colonial smug arrogance has no place.

Yes, the physical economy Russia has great problems. I’ve traveled throughout Russia many times since 1994. I have seen much beyond the breath-taking beauty of the Czar palaces of St. Petersburg or the spectacular Moscow Kremlin fortress constructed in the 1480’s. I’ve seen dilapidated infrastructure and streets with New York-style potholes in Russia’s smaller cities.

I grew up and for some time worked in proximity of slums and poverty in cities such as Boston, New York, Newark, or Dallas as a young man in the United States during the 1960’s and 1970s and after. The differences with Russia’s economic deficits are enormous. The growing poverty in America since the beginning of the 1970’s was as a deliberate economic policy consequence of Wall Street policies and notably so after the decision to abandon the Bretton Woods Gold Exchange Standard in 1971.

By contrast, the poverty in Russia today is a residue of the seventy years of Soviet conditions during the military necessities of the Cold War and the fatal flaws of its rigid central planning that suppressed individual initiative and creativity, or rather penalized it. That was aggravated in a devastating manner by the Gorbachev Perestroika monetary mistakes and the criminal CIA-backed looting of Russian state assets by the Yeltsin mafia in the decade of the 1990s.

In brief, the United States, when the falsified US Government economic data are stripped away, is falling deeper into debt and decay as money and Wall Street mega-banks reign supreme like Gods of Money. Russia in contrast is growing slowly but definitely out of its economic and infrastructure deficit of the past decades, in fact of the past century since the Western-backed Lenin coup d’etat of 1917While the United States over the past five decades has been tearing down its once prospering cities, infrastructure and industry, Russia is building up its national economy on an advanced technological basis with some of the most creative scientific and engineering minds on Earth. As Moody’s or S&P language might put it,

“USA economy: Outlook Negative going forward; Russia economy: Outlook Positive going forward.”

A Debtors’ Prison

The difference between the present economic prospects of the United States and that of the Russian Federation is fundamental. To begin with we need to examine the relative debt structures of the West versus the East. In the United States debts are soaring and the slums and homelessness are spreading, hidden behind United States’ Potemkin Village ultra-wealthy gentrified urban areas like Manhattan in New York City or Washington D C and its wealthy suburbs.

View from Midtown Manhattan, facing south toward Lower Manhattan

View from Midtown Manhattan, facing south toward Lower Manhattan (Source: Anthony Quintano / Wikimedia Commons)

Household debt in the USA, almost nine years after the financial collapse of September 2008, and after more than 8 years of near-zero Federal Reserve interest rates, is alarmingly high, higher than almost any time in the postwar period at almost 80% of GDP.

Of that household private debt, student loan debt for college education is more than $1.3 trillion, or an average debt of $48,000 a student. Astonishingly, students’ indebtedness for higher education has passed Americans’ legendary credit card debt in dollar terms. In early 2017 according to Federal Reserve and other data more than 44 million Americans held a total of some $1.3 trillion in debts for higher education. In 1997, only 20 years ago, total student debt was less than $30 billion, hardly a drain.

One reason for the explosion of debt is that total costs of a higher education in America today are soaring, notably at state-supported colleges. Costs rose 41% from 2002 to 2012. At the same time the incomes of the families of the households sending their children to college has stagnated and after 2008 declined in real terms.

For most of the immediate postwar period until the great economic crises of the 1970’s, higher education in the United States had a tradition–most especially at state universities– that tuition costs were minimal or state subsidized so that higher education could be open to anyone “with brains” as Harvard President Charles W. Eliot once charmingly put it. Higher education was seen by states and communities as an investment in the nation’s future. Those were the days before globalization and the great labor outsourcing. Now Federal government monies to support low-cost state college tuition have been severely cut, and state budgets across the country are still bleeding from the 2007-8 financial crisis.

Total private household debt in the United States today is over $12 trillion for combined home mortgage debt, college loans, car debt, credit card debt. That’s a huge burden weighing on the growth potential of the US economy.

Add to this the exponential growth of the US national debt, now just under $20 trillion, and it becomes clear that the campaign rhetoric of the Trump Presidency to “make America Great Again” requires emergency economic measures and effective and well-thought-through Chapter 9 type bankruptcy-reorganization of the nation’s debt in order to allow the United States to again become a real manufacturing economy not merely a financial speculator in debt.

In 1980 at the start of the “debts don’t matter” irresponsibility of the Reagan-Bush era, the level of Federal debt was a very manageable 30% of GDP. By the end of Bush Senior’s term in January 1993, it stood at more than double or 63% of GDP. It was beginning to “matter,” but Wall Street and bond traders loved it. When George W. Bush, took office in 2001 it had fallen back to 54% through no fault of Bush but rather to Baby-boomer demographics. From there US national debt took off like a ballistic missile, doubling by March 2017 to more than 104% of GDP today, just a whisker below a staggering $20 trillion.

This debt in the USA, private and public, is the true reason the Fed, more than eight years after the worst financial crisis in world history, still fears to bring interest rates much beyond the historically low 1.25% at present for fear of triggering a domino debt default collapse of the entire economy. Russia faces nothing remotely comparable in terms of such a debt prison.

The situation for the EU countries is only slightly better. The Eurozone countries have an average of 90% debt to GDP, far beyond the 60% ceiling of the Maastricht Treaty. In Greece it stands at 179 % , followed by Italy at 133 %, Portugal at 130 %, Cyprus at 107 % and Belgium at 106 %.

Russia looks quite healthy

By contrast Russia’s state debt is almost miniscule at 13% of GDP in 2016, the US dollar equivalent at present exchange rates of $190 billion. Inflation is currently measured between 4-5%. The Ruble is stable since the sanctions crisis and oil shock of 2014. And foreign investment is coming back into Russia’s economyMoreover, despite the collapse of world oil prices after September 2014, Russian oil exports have held firm or grown and gas exports via new pipelines to China and elsewhere in east Eurasia are about to give added revenue to state-owned Gazprom and other Russian oil companies. Russian domestic production costs for oil and gas are priced in Rubles and sold for dollars so the impact of a significant Ruble fall versus the dollar after 2014 was hardly severe as US Treasury financial warfare jockeys might have hoped.

Bank of Russia headquarters in Moscow (Source: NVO / Wikimedia Commons)

Russia’s Central bank reserves today are more than healthy. In addition to a major restocking of its gold reserves the total reserves today stand at $406 billion, higher than in 2014 when it stood at $385 billion. In addition the Finance Ministry’s Sovereign Wealth Funds total another $90 billion at current exchange ratesMoody’s and S&P, tell me where is the ”risk“ of sovereign debt default that you still insist rating Russian state bonds as “junk”?

Political Bias Against Russia?

A note here is in order about the political nature of select sovereign credit risk ratings by the dominant US credit rating agencies Moody’s and S&P. During the depth of the ruble crisis in 2014 when plunging oil prices and US and EU sanctions forced Russian companies to repay foreign dollar or euro loans, as the West was threatening cutoff of SWIFT interbank lines to Russia, capital outflow reached $151 billion for the crisis year 2014, most in the last quarter.

In 2016 capital outflows out of Russia totaled a mere $15 billion, most to Russian companies overseas and the ruble remained stable. Despite the absence of any hint of a possible Russian sovereign debt default as in the Soros-linked ruble default crisis of August 1998 under the chaotic Yeltsin era, both Moody’s and S&P still keep Russian government debt rated at “below investment grade,” or “junk” grade, meaning that international pension funds and other major investors are prohibited by their own regulators from holding Russian state debt despite very attractive interest rates compared with the EU or USA or Japan.

Critics of the political bias of certain Moody’s and S&P sovereign debt ratings see the giant Wall Street rating companies who hold a de facto monopoly on world credit ratings, as too often operating with political bias. They cite the example of the spectacular bankruptcy of Enron in 2001 and the fact the two US rating companies continued to give Enron top ratings until the eve of bankruptcy. Enron’s CEO Kenneth Lay happened to be a close friend of the Bush family which some believe played a role in the ratings blindness. Similarly, Moody’s and S&P did not warn of the largest financial collapse, that triggered by the meltdown in the bond-rated Mortgage Backed Securities market in so-called sub-prime real estate loans in the USA beginning in March 2007. They should have. They rated the Mortgage Backed bonds behind the crisis.

In effect it would appear that Moody’s and S&P (less so Fitch the smallest US rater of the three) act as an integrated adjuvant of the US Treasury economic warfare sanctions unit, using a blackmail of lowered credit rating to pressure Russia into destructive liberal economic reforms it does not at all need.

Let’s look briefly at some positive industrial areas of the Russian real economy instead of the virtual reality of Western ratings games. Here it looks anything but bankrupt or junk.

Civilian Sector to Gain from Military

The very advanced military technology that Russia’s intervention into the Syria war has demonstrated to the world confirms that Russian science and technology are world-class, and often far more.

In a speech July 9 at the opening ceremony in Yekaterinburg in central Russia of the International Industrial Trade Fair INNOPROM-2017, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin stated,

“Another key issue is to boost volumes of hi-tech production for the civil purposes by the defense industry complex. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is actively engaged in this issue now.”

This represents a sea change in Russian attitude towards its military technology sector. During the Cold War, a heritage of Stalin-era obsession with security, the military industry was completely sealed from any possible interaction with the civilian economy, resulting in huge imbalances in technology spread into the domestic economy to the present.

Civilian Advanced Aircraft

An instance of the kind of innovation and technology potential of this policy of supporting high-tech manufacture drawing on Russia’s extraordinary military aircraft experience is the rollout this May of the first test flight of Russia’s Irkut MC-21 narrow-body commercial jet. The development reportedly sent shock waves through the boardrooms of Boeing and Airbus.

The Irkut MC-21 has the widest fuselage of any narrow-body jet in the market giving more passenger comfort compared with the “sardines-in-a-can” passenger space on comparable Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 models. More attractive, especially for many developing markets in the Middle East and Asia, is the fact its price is some 15% below the A320. More interesting is the technology in the construction. The MC-21 has Russian-developed unique carbon fiber wings, giving the plane a 30% composite content. The wings were developed using a revolutionary new resin transfer infusion process created by AeroComposit in Ulyanovsk, Russia. Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320 use metal wings.

Maiden flight of MC-21.jpg

Maiden flight of MC-21 (Source: Denis Fedorko / Wikimedia Commons)

Notably, the Irkut manufacturer is part of a new state aircraft group United Aircraft Corporation or UAC. It was during his first Presidency that Vladimir Putin merged the former military aircraft makers from Ilyushin, Irkut, Sukhoi, Tupolev, and Yakovlev to form a single aircraft group, UAC, which is 80% state-owned.

In addition to the MC-21 narrow-body passenger medium-range jet, UAC has developed the regional Superjet-100 aircraft, certified for international routes in 2012. UAC subsidiary company, Sukhoi, claims direct operating costs to be 6–8% lower than its key competitor, the Brazilian Embraer 190/195 and can accommodate 22 more passengers. I can personally attest the aircraft is very comfortable.

Russia’s entry into the strategic civilian passenger jet market has recently taken on another new dimension in terms of creation of a Russian-Chinese joint venture. In June, 2016, the UAC and the China state aircraft corporation Comac created China-Russia Aircraft International Co, Ltd. (CRAIC), based in Shanghai. CRAIC is responsible for product and technology development, manufacturing, marketing, sales and customer service, consulting, program management. The two companies are creating a new generation of long-range wide-body commercial aircraft to compete with Airbus A380 and Boeing 787. The Sino-Russian jet will have a range of up to 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) and seat 280 passengers with operating costs 10-15% less than its rivals. UAC expects the new joint jet will take 10 percent of a market dominated by the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

Advanced Railway Equipment

Another sector of infrastructure manufacturing excellence from Russia is the extraordinary development of Russia’s United Wagon Company. Russia’s Putin, then-Prime Minister, attended the opening of the highly sophisticated new cutting-edge rail car factory of United Wagon’s Tikhvin Railway Car Building Plant in 2012 at a cost of almost $1 billion. Since then United Wagon has grown to be a major world-class builder of advanced specialized rail wagons, and is larger than any European freight wagon producer with 22,000 wagons a year.

The company took best practice experiences from the automotive, aerospace and rail industry around the world in the design of the factory. It combines foundry production and vehicle assembly on a single site giving it flexibility and productivity rates “several times” in excess of established Russian wagon plants. TVSZ can produce a wheelset every 4½ minutes and complete a wagon every 24 minutes. The factory outside St. Petersburg features the most advanced automated equipment and robots similar to equipment used by BMW and Airbus. The only comparable casting machinery is used by Daimler in Germany. TVSZ rail wagons are 50% cheaper to maintain than established Russian designs, and more track friendly.

During their recent talks before the Hamburg G20 meeting, Russian President Putin and ChinaPresident Xi Jinping discussed incorporating Russian rail car manufacturing capacities in the development of the vast high-speed rail infrastructure that is being built across Eurasia today including Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union. Clearly United Wagon was uppermost in Putin’s mind.

Unlike the United States which to the present day has managed to not build one single mile or kilometer of high-speed rail track capable of speeds above 140 mph, Russia is expanding its high speed rail, now officially in coordination with China’s vast One Belt, One Road Eurasian infrastructure project. Russia and China are jointly developing the priority project of a new high-speed rail link from Russia’s Kazan to Moscow, ultimately to be a key link in the OBOR Beijing to Moscow line. The Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail link will be 770 km long, with trains moving up to 400 km/hr and stops every 50-70 km. The high-speed journey from Moscow to Kazan will take 3.5 hours compared to the current 14 hours, revolutionizing economic relations all along the line.

With an eye to its growing trade relations to her East, Russia announced last year that it will build a new railway corridor in the Russian Far East for a faster connection between the Trans-Siberian railway and the Pacific Ocean via a new port on the Sea of Japan to be completed by 2025. The new transport corridor will be able to serve most of the ports of the Russian Far East, as well as Japan, China and Korea, and cuts the distance to the Trans-Siberian railway by 550 km, allowing much faster transportation of cargo to the European part of Russia.

Truly prospects for a dynamic, economically growing Russian real economy today is more positive than at any time in the past two centuries or more. I can’t help but feel it would do our world far more in terms of the good to end with the silly losing wars everywhere and return to building up our nations and civilization. The energy of war is a no-brainer. Building up is exciting as China and increasingly Russia realize.

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President Kadyrov wants to filter out the gay gene from the Chechen gene pool

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In an interview with the US sports journalist Bryant Gumbel (HBO) on combat sports, the President of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has declared:

“If there are gays [in Chechnya], take them to Canada. Please God take them, just so long as they are not here. It’s so we can purify our blood. If there are here, take them”.

Speaking of people who testified that they were tortured for homosexuality by the Chechen police, he continued: “They are the devil. We need to get rid of them, they are not men (…) Please punish them God so that they do not bring accusations against us. They will have to respond for this before the All-Mighty”.

In April, the Russian Daily, Novaïa Gazeta , had accused the Kadyrov administration of persecuting homosexuals. This was something that Russian gay associations had initially denied. However, according to Igor Kochetkov of the LGTB Network in Russia, during recent weeks, the Chechen police tried to organize false accusations ranging from burglary to terrorism against gays just to justify locking them up.

Chechnya has been Russian since the seventeenth century. The majority of its inhabitants are Sunni Muslims with a strong presence of the Sufi Brotherhood of the Naqchbandis. It provided a large number of professional soldiers to the Tsar, then to the Red Army. During the dissolution of the USSR, Chechen officers tried to carve a State for themselves. The CIA intervened in the conflict on the side of the Naqchbandis which created the Islamic Emirate of Itchkerie modelled on that set up by the Afghan Taliban. While not a local tradition, the Emirates killed homosexuals. The current president Kadyrov is the son of the Grand Mufti, Akhmad Kadyrov, who supported first the Emirates and then became close to Moscow and finally helped to conquer the Islamists.

Homosexuality was only repressed in Russia in the period 1936 – 1991. Never by the Tsar or the Bolsheviks. Kadyrov’s current Islamic policy comes at a time when some Russian parliamentarians consider homosexuality akin to a contagious disease for example and try to keep it out of sight.

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US has Too Many Spies in Moscow, Russian Diplomat Says

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TeleSUR
US has Too Many Spies in Moscow, Russian Diplomat Says

“Even hinting at possible steps toward cooperation between our countries is currently seen in the U.S. as political suicide,” one Russian senator commented.

Russia has accused the United States of having too many spies operating within its diplomatic offices, and of refusing to cooperate on diplomatic issues.

“There are too many employees of the CIA and the Pentagon’s espionage unit working under the roof of the American diplomatic mission whose activity does not correspond at all with their status,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova said on Friday according to TASS.

Zakharova also has said that Russia is considering expelling a number of these employees, and significantly reducing the number of U.S. officials working in Moscow.

“The number of personnel at the U.S. embassy in Moscow significantly exceeds the number of our personnel working in Washington. So, one of the options is that, apart from expelling the corresponding number of U.S. diplomats, we will just have to even the number of personnel,” she said.

The warning is partially a response in retaliation to the United States’ expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in Washington last year, who were kicked out at the same time two Russian diplomatic compounds were seized by the Obama administration.

The U.S. justified the move accusing Russia of interfering in electoral processes, something which Russian officials have denied.

Russia has been increasingly frustrated with the U.S.’s refusal to give back the compounds, and allow Russia to replace the expelled diplomats.

If the issue is not resolved, Zakharova said Russia will be forced to take “reciprocal measures.”

“Everything depends on the reaction of the U.S. side, its concrete actions, and on the results of the consultations which will now take place in Washington,” she added.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia rejected the idea of linking the dispute to other political issues.

However, Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev criticized the “cynical” approach the U.S. was taking toward diplomacy and dialogue.

“Even hinting at possible steps toward cooperation between our countries is currently seen in the U.S. as political suicide,” he said.

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‘Politicized’ Move: Kremlin Regrets US Limit on Use of Kaspersky Lab Products

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Sputnik 

MOSCOW – The Kremlin regrets the United States government’s limit on the use of Russia-based global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab products, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday as he vowed to protect its interests.

The decision was reportedly made earlier this week over company’s alleged ties with Russian intelligence services.

“We regret such decisions, but on the other hand the company has the necessary legal arsenal to defend its interests,” Peskov told reporters. “But Russia as a state will also continue to do everything possible to protect the interests of our companies.”

Commenting on the General Service Administration’s reported removal of Kaspersky Lab products from the list of approved vendors for government agencies to purchase technology, he said “we certainly know that this is a politicized decision.”

“This is a commercial company, it provides commercial services and not only competitive commercial services, but competitive commercial services around the world.”

On July 11, the Bloomberg news agency published an article which said that emails obtained by the agency’s Bloomberg Businessweek revealed that the Kaspersky Lab allegedly developed products for Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and supported its agents during raids. Kaspersky Lab has denied these media allegations and reiterated its status as a private company without political ties to any country. The firm also noted its CEO Eugene Kaspersky’s repeated offer to testify before the US Congress and turn over its source code for official verification.

Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov said earlier that response measures cannot be ruled out if the United States banned the use of Kaspersky Lab products.

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Oust Trump, War With Russia

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Image result for Trump, War CARTOON
By Finian CUNNINGHAM 

Behind the sensational Western media coverage now linking the US president’s son to alleged Russian collusion in the American election, the real euphoria stems from relief that, at last, some «evidence» has been found.

For more than seven months now, the US corporate media have been running unrelenting claims that somehow Donald J Trump colluded with Russian state-sponsored hackers to get elected over his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton.

The media campaign has been dismissed as a witch hunt by Trump. Perhaps more sinisterly, US-Russia relations have also become deeply toxic due to the allegations. Not even a friendly meeting between Trump and Putin at last weekend’s G20 summit in Germany seems able to lift the poisonous cloud over bilateral relations.

However, the never-ending «Russia-gate» story was, to be frank, at risk of boring people to death from the sheer lack of evidence to shore up the conjecture of Trump being a Russian stooge. Despite the fact that three separate government probes have been working on the issue, they have nothing to show for it.

Then this week the «Russia-gate» story-tellers got a lifeline with reports that the president’s eldest son, Donald Jr, held a meeting with a Russian lawyer over a year ago at Trump Tower in New York City. The disclosure came from emails sent by Trump’s son to a mediator who promised «dirt on Clinton» that would damage her election campaign.

Democrats, Republicans, supporters of Clinton and the anti-Trump media are now cock-a-hoop that they have a «smoking gun» to prove the narrative of Trump-Russia collusion. Trump Jr is being accused of betraying his country by consorting with a foreign enemy, Russia.

Washington Post comment noted: «Donald Trump Jr’s emails are the clearest indication yet that Trump campaign officials and family members were willing to deal with a foreign adversary in their mutual goal of taking down Hillary Clinton, and their revelation is dramatic proof that the Russia investigation is alive with no end in sight.»

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported: «Rancor at White House as Russia Story Refuses to Let the Page Turn». It goes on to comment with a tone of satisfaction: «Every time the president tries to put the furor behind him, more disclosures thrust it back to the fore, and people close to him are anonymously blaming one another.»

What the media outlets decline to say is that the Russia-gate story has not gone away precisely because the media have dutifully amplified leaks and anonymous intelligence claims – more accurately, innuendo – pillorying Trump as a Russian patsy.

The Deep State rulers of the US, comprising the military-intelligence apparatus, never wanted businessman Trump to become president. Unlike Clinton, Trump was insufficiently hawkish towards Russia. Ever since his shock election last November, the Deep State and its media machine have been full throttle to oust the «wrong president». The «Russian collusion» claims are the spearhead of this attack, an attack could qualify as a «soft coup» against the elected president.

With Trump’s son now admitting that he met with a Russian lawyer last summer as the head of his father’s election campaign, the anti-Trump campaign senses a mortal wound and are going full pelt to exploit it.

But the drama has the hallmarks of yet more media-driven sensation that is out of all proportion to the facts. Trump Jr’s lawyer dismissed the latest claims as «much ado about nothing».

The Russian government, which has consistently rejected any claims of interfering in the US election, said that the speculation about Trump and the «Kremlin-connected attorney» is «making a mountain out of a molehill».

As Trump Jr told Fox News this week, he held the meeting simply because he was interested in hearing «opposition research» on Hillary Clinton. As it turned out, no such information was forthcoming and the meeting ended inconclusively after only 20 minutes. That was the end of it. Apparently, Trump Sr wasn’t even told about the brief interview, so insignificant was it at the time.

It seems a fair and plausible observation that Trump Jr was simply doing what any political campaigner would do. Get dirt on opponents.

The US media are thus guilty of «protesting too much» about what is a rather prosaic matter. Apart from the obvious axe they want to grind against President Trump, the other reason for the media hysteria over the latest twist in the Russia-gate affair is that the Deep State and their media machine have, at last, something resembling hard evidence. This is why they are grandstanding. It is from relief that they have found something approximating a story to justify all the months of shrill speculation.

The hypocrisy of the pious media, pundits and politicians over Trump Jr’s betrayal is quickly revealed when one considers that Hillary Clinton’s campaign actively worked with the CIA-backed Kiev regime to dig up dirt on Trump during the election, as reported by Cristina Laila. «Where is the call for Hillary Clinton and her aides to be interviewed by the Senate intelligence panel,» she asks.

According to US media interviews given by Nataliya Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer at the center of the Trump brouhaha, she is adamant that she was not acting for the Kremlin. The Kremlin also denies knowing her. She maintains that she not did approach the Trump campaign to provide «dirt» on Clinton, but rather to lobby against US sanctions imposed on her Russian business clients.

The claim that Veselnitskaya was «acting on Russian government information to help Donald Trump» apparently stems solely from the assertion made by the former British tabloid journalist Rob Goldstone, who wrote to Donald Jr to set up the meeting. It was Goldstone who described the meeting with Veselnitskaya as conveying «Russian government information to help your father’s campaign».

In other words that is not «proof» of Russian government involvement. It is simply hearsay from a tabloid hack with self-serving reasons.

Questions that the US media should be asking are: Was Goldstone hamming up his Russian government claims in order to sell Trump a mediation service and a scoop? Also, how did private emails between Goldstone and Trump end up in the possession of the New York Times ? Did Goldstone flog them to the newspaper in order to cash in on the brewing Russia-gate scandal?

As with so much else in the Russia-gate affair, the latest twist seems to be another concoction to turn wild speculation into the semblance of fact. It is as if the US media conceived the headline «Trump colluded with Russia» a long time ago, and have ever since been chasing to find a «story» to fit the headline.

There are too many holes in the whole Russia-gate affair for it to stand up. It is only the servile US media operating on the agenda of the powerful anti-Trump Deep State that make this non-story appear to stand up.

So desperate is the Deep State to oust Trump from office, it is willing to damage US-Russia relations beyond repair, to the point of risking all-out war.

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Sending Messages to Russia

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By Brian Cloughley | CounterPunch 

Remember the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, hosted by Russia? The planning and organization were excellent and the games were an outstanding success in every way. The western media looked frantically for something to criticize and there was indeed one slight hiccup — at the opening, one of the decorative Olympic Rings in the enormous lit-up sign malfunctioned. British and American television stations loved it.  They played the fizzle-pop segment time after time after time, hoping that there would be something else equally disastrous for which evil, incompetent yet curiously threatening Russia could be hung out to dry.

It didn’t happen, of course, and the Russians made fun of the episode at the end of the games, but the attitude of the west was vehemently Cold War and it set the stage for the next few years.

To the anguish and annoyance of much of the Western media, the recent meeting in Hamburg between Presidents Trump and Putin was a success. On the Sunday following their discussions on Friday July 7 there was not one single positive comment piece or headline in any of the usual anti-Russia chorus line — including the Washington Post, London’s  Sunday Telegraph, the New York Times, London’s Mail on Sunday, and the Boston Sunday Globe (to name but a few).

Saturday’s front pages had also been devoid of anything positive, but given the small amount of information that was available immediately after the meeting, this is not surprising, although the Globe managed a front-page headline that “Trump Confronts Putin on Election Meddling” which was a good try. What was predictable but nonetheless deplorable was the totally negative attitude. Western media people do not think it a good thing that the leaders of two large and important nations spoke amicably with each other.

What they really wanted, of course, was for there to be a mighty explosion between Trump and Putin, followed by a snarling walk-out by one or other or preferably both. My goodness, just think of the photo-opportunities, the gleeful headlines, the sententious “I told you so” from the galaxy of talent poised in the wings with venom-tipped keyboard fingers.

Don’t get me wrong : I have no time for Trump whom I judge to be an arrogant, erratic, mendacious, vulgar oaf who would not be permitted to enter my house to clean the lavatory. But he is the President of the United States and thus a most important person. What he says should be regarded as official US policy — or perhaps not, because on July 8 he declared that “Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia” yet next day his Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told the media that in spite of what her President says about Russia, “It doesn’t mean we ever trust Russia. We can’t trust Russia and we won’t ever trust Russia.”

Just what is America’s official policy? It is apparent that the US and British media are firmly opposed to Russia, no matter what it does, but surely we should expect an indication of concerted, practical strategy from the highest strata of government?

When we have the US President saying he wants to “work constructively” with Russia and a minion publicly declaring that Russia can’t be trusted, there is obviously a critical problem.

In days gone by, that sort of insubordinate deviance would have been met with instant dismissal. You can’t have a country sending conflicting diplomatic (or undiplomatic) messages to another country with which it has sensitive relations — or, for that matter, to a country which considers it has most amicable relations with Washington, of which a case in point is Australia.

For years Australia has been trying to ingratiate itself with the US by supporting it in its stance of military confrontation against China (a vital Australian trade partner), by, amongst other things, letting the Pentagon establish yet another vast US military base and joining in saber-rattling military exercises. But in February the US President insulted the Australian Prime Minister by abruptly ending a telephone call with him. Sure, the Australian PM seemed to take it lightly when he mimicked Trump during an informal social event, but the damage to US-Australia relations had been done, and the American President has caused many Australians to distrust his country, which is quite an achievement. The messages were mixed, but the damage could have been rectified by a simple apology from Trump for his offensive treatment of Australia’s prime minister. But it is difficult to imagine Trump making a sincere apology for any of his actions or statements.

Which brings us back to his policy towards Russia, which is in self-contradictory tatters.

According to MSN news, Trump tweeted on Sunday July 9 that “Sanctions were not discussed at my meeting with President Putin . . .” But according to the Washington Post (which is not the most dependable source in reporting anything to do with Russia, but in this case seems to be accurate) “Immediately after Friday’s meeting with Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the president told his Russian counterpart that members of Congress are pushing for additional sanctions . . .”

No foreign service, no government, no country, can operate effectively in international affairs when there are contradictory statements at such levels about matters of enormous importance. Nobody knows where they stand, and Trump’s tweet fandangos serve only to further complicate US-Russia relations about which there are increasingly grave doubts. The rabid anti-Russia diatribes in the US Senate have made it clear that no matter what Trump might try to do in order to establish cordial relations, both US political parties are inflexible in their determination that no peaceful progress will be permitted.

In order to advance the cause of confrontation, Washington’s politicians feed the media with meaty nuggets of condemnation. Western Intelligence agencies, which work closely with the staffs of the Washington Post and the New York Times (and, in the UK, with the Daily Telegraph ), do their bit in the disinformation process by publishing material based on leaks from “anonymous sources” who provide unverifiable yet ostensibly authoritative snippets of weighty garbage.

There is a major split in government in Washington, with President Trump — of all people — apparently intent on seeking balanced rapprochement with Russia, while the political Establishment and the Pentagon, backed to the hilt by the Fourth Estate, are relentlessly intent on a malevolent campaign of insult, innuendo and increasing military deployment close to Russia’s borders in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

President Trump said “We look forward to a lot of very positive things happening for Russia and the United States and for everybody concerned” which is a positive approach to bilateral relations, echoed by President Putin’s “I’m very glad to be able to meet you personally, and I hope that, as you have said, our meetings will yield positive results.”

Russia’s Foreign Secretary, Sergei Lavrov, told the media the “My feeling is that it’s been confirmed that the presidents, both the Russian and the American, are driven above all by the countries’ national interests and that they understand these interests primarily as looking for mutually beneficial agreements and not trying to act out some confrontation scenarios, not trying to create problems out of nothing.”

You couldn’t have asked for a more positive and constructive approach by both nations, and the talks would indeed have “yielded positive results” had not the entire clique in Washington made it clear that no such thing would be permitted.

The United States is sending mixed messages to Russia, but they are equally clear: on one hand there is desire for mutually beneficial rapprochement and on the other there is determination to intensify military and economic confrontation.  If these conflicts continue, there will be confusion.  If the Washington Warriors succeed in their campaign of malevolent hostility there will be war.

The arteries of diplomatic decency and mutually beneficial compromise are being blocked by clots.

Posted in Russia0 Comments

US Dems Start Coordinated Bid to Obtain Trump Records, Force Votes on Russia

NOVANEWS
Image result for Trump CARTOON
Sputnik 

WASHINGTON – Democrats in the US House of Representatives have launched a coordinated effort to order the release of records related to President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia and to force floor votes on the matter, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a briefing on Friday.

“Today we are announcing a new coordinated effort to force votes to get answers for the American people. We will force Republicans to take votes on the record… [and] we will expose House Republicans in action for their willful, shameful enabling,” Pelosi told reporters at a joint news conference with eight other lawmakers.

Seven members of Congress announced that they would introduce Resolutions of Inquiry on Friday as part of the coordinated effort.

The goal of the procedural measures is to hold Republicans accountable for their “complicity” with Trump, Pelosi said.

“They [Republicans] have become enablers of the violation of our Constitution, the attack on the integrity of our elections, the security of our country,” Pelosi said.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters said she and other Democrats on the Financial Services Committee introduced a Resolution of Inquiry directing the Treasury secretary to provide any documents related to credit extended by Russian banks or Russian government officials to the president, his immediate family, his associates or his properties and businesses.

In a similar vein, Congressman Bill Pascrell said he would introduce a Resolution of Inquiry to force the release of Trump’s tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee.

Meanwhile, Congressman Joaquin Castro introduced a Resolution of Inquiry directing the Secretary of State to provide Congress with any documents or communications records related to efforts to modify or revoke sanctions against Russia.

“If during the campaign or since the president’s inauguration members of the Trump team have considered altering sanctions on our adversary Russia, Congress and the American people need to know and have a right to know,” Castro told reporters. “House Republicans shouldn’t be providing cover for the administration and its affection for Russia.”

Congresswoman Pramilia Jayapal and Congressman David Cicilline said they would draft a Resolution of Inquiry, as well as letters to the chair of the Judiciary Committee demanding more information about Jared Kusher and Donald Trump Jr,’s affairs and meetings with Russian government officials.

Jayapal said the resolution seeks to expose the full extent of the ties between Donald Trump’s inner circle and the Kremlin.

“I fear that we are witnessing a betrayal of our nation that is unlike anything we have ever seen before in American politics. And we have a responsibility to uncover the truth and to lay the facts bare for all to see and judge for themselves,” Cicilline told reporters.

For her part, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman drafted a Resolution of Inquiry calling on the Department of Homeland Security to provide the House Homeland Security Committee with all documents of payments made by the agency to Trump organizations or Trump family travel in furtherance of Trump family business.

In addition, Congressman Hank Johnson, Ranking Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure, drafted a resolution to force the General Service Administration to produce documents related to a 60-year lease agreement for the Trump Organization to develop the iconic Old Post Office building in Washington.

“We need to ensure that President Trump is not enriching himself while serving in the ultimate position of public trust,” Johnson said.

Republicans are unlikely to back any of the resolutions, but Democrats could use the recorded votes as political fodder during next year’s midterm elections.

The issue of Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election has become a political weapon in Washington, with Democrats seeking to portray Trump and his Republican party as soft on Russia.

Russia has repeatedly denied interference in the US presidential election and has called such allegations absurd and intended to deflect public attention from revealed instances of election fraud and corruption as well as other domestic concerns.

Posted in USA, Russia0 Comments

How Russia-gate Met the Magnitsky Myth

NOVANEWS
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By Robert Parry | Consortium News 

Near the center of the current furor over Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 is a documentary that almost no one in the West has been allowed to see, a film that flips the script on the story of the late Sergei Magnitsky and his employer, hedge-fund operator William Browder.

The Russian lawyer, Natalie Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump Jr. and other advisers to Donald Trump Sr.’s campaign, represented a company that had run afoul of a U.S. investigation into money-laundering allegedly connected to the Magnitsky case and his death in a Russian prison in 2009. His death sparked a campaign spearheaded by Browder, who used his wealth and clout to lobby the U.S. Congress in 2012 to enact the Magnitsky Act to punish alleged human rights abusers in Russia. The law became what might be called the first shot in the New Cold War.

According to Browder’s narrative, companies ostensibly under his control had been hijacked by corrupt Russian officials in furtherance of a $230 million tax-fraud scheme; he then dispatched his “lawyer” Magnitsky to investigate and – after supposedly uncovering evidence of the fraud – Magnitsky blew the whistle only to be arrested by the same corrupt officials who then had him locked up in prison where he died of heart failure from physical abuse.

Despite Russian denials – and the “dog ate my homework” quality of Browder’s self-serving narrative – the dramatic tale became a cause celebre in the West. The story eventually attracted the attention of Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, a known critic of President Vladimir Putin. Nekrasov decided to produce a docu-drama that would present Browder’s narrative to a wider public. Nekrasov even said he hoped that he might recruit Browder as the narrator of the tale.

However, the project took an unexpected turn when Nekrasov’s research kept turning up contradictions to Browder’s storyline, which began to look more and more like a corporate cover story. Nekrasov discovered that a woman working in Browder’s company was the actual whistleblower and that Magnitsky – rather than a crusading lawyer – was an accountant who was implicated in the scheme.

So, the planned docudrama suddenly was transformed into a documentary with a dramatic reversal as Nekrasov struggles with what he knows will be a dangerous decision to confront Browder with what appear to be deceptions. In the film, you see Browder go from a friendly collaborator into an angry adversary who tries to bully Nekrasov into backing down.

Blocked Premiere

Ultimately, Nekrasov completes his extraordinary film – entitled “The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes” – and it was set for a premiere at the European Parliament in Brussels in April 2016. However, at the last moment – faced with Browder’s legal threats – the parliamentarians pulled the plug. Nekrasov encountered similar resistance in the United States, a situation that, in part, brought Natalie Veselnitskaya into this controversy.

Film director Andrei Nekrasov

As a lawyer defending Prevezon, a real-estate company registered in Cyprus, on a money-laundering charge, she was dealing with U.S. prosecutors in New York City and, in that role, became an advocate for lifting the U.S. sanctions, The Washington Post reported.

That was when she turned to promoter Rob Goldstone to set up a meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. To secure the sit-down on June 9, 2016, Goldstone dangled the prospect that Veselnitskaya had some derogatory financial information from the Russian government about Russians supporting the Democratic National Committee. Trump Jr. jumped at the possibility and brought senior Trump campaign advisers, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, along.

By all accounts, Veselnitskaya had little or nothing to offer about the DNC and turned the conversation instead to the Magnitsky Act and Putin’s retaliatory measure to the sanctions, canceling a program in which American parents adopted Russian children. One source told me that Veselnitskaya also wanted to enhance her stature in Russia with the boast that she had taken a meeting at Trump Tower with Trump’s son.

But another goal of Veselnitskaya’s U.S. trip was to participate in an effort to give Americans a chance to see Nekrasov’s blacklisted documentary. She traveled to Washington in the days after her Trump Tower meeting and attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, according to The Washington Post.

There were hopes to show the documentary to members of Congress but the offer was rebuffed. Instead a room was rented at the Newseum near Capitol Hill. Browder’s lawyers. who had successfully intimidated the European Parliament, also tried to strong arm the Newseum, but its officials responded that they were only renting out a room and that they had allowed other controversial presentations in the past.

Their stand wasn’t exactly a profile in courage. “We’re not going to allow them not to show the film,” said Scott Williams, the chief operating officer of the Newseum. “We often have people renting for events that other people would love not to have happen.”

In an article about the controversy in June 2016, The New York Times added that “A screening at the Newseum is especially controversial because it could attract lawmakers or their aides.” Heaven forbid!

One-Time Showing

So, Nekrasov’s documentary got a one-time showing with Veselnitskaya reportedly in attendance and with a follow-up discussion moderated by journalist Seymour Hersh. However, except for that audience, the public of the United States and Europe has been essentially shielded from the documentary’s discoveries, all the better for the Magnitsky myth to retain its power as a seminal propaganda moment of the New Cold War.

After the Newseum presentation, a Washington Post editorial branded Nekrasov’s documentary Russian “agit-prop” and sought to discredit Nekrasov without addressing his many documented examples of Browder’s misrepresenting both big and small facts in the case. Instead, the Post accused Nekrasov of using “facts highly selectively” and insinuated that he was merely a pawn in the Kremlin’s “campaign to discredit Mr. Browder and the Magnitsky Act.”

The Post also misrepresented the structure of the film by noting that it mixed fictional scenes with real-life interviews and action, a point that was technically true but willfully misleading because the fictional scenes were from Nekrasov’s original idea for a docu-drama that he shows as part of explaining his evolution from a believer in Browder’s self-exculpatory story to a skeptic. But the Post’sdeception is something that almost no American would realize because almost no one got to see the film.

The Post concluded smugly: “The film won’t grab a wide audience, but it offers yet another example of the Kremlin’s increasingly sophisticated efforts to spread its illiberal values and mind-set abroad. In the European Parliament and on French and German television networks, showings were put off recently after questions were raised about the accuracy of the film, including by Magnitsky’s family.

“We don’t worry that Mr. Nekrasov’s film was screened here, in an open society. But it is important that such slick spin be fully exposed for its twisted story and sly deceptions.”

The Post’s gleeful editorial had the feel of something you might read in a totalitarian society where the public only hears about dissent when the Official Organs of the State denounce some almost unknown person for saying something that almost no one heard.

New Paradigm

The Post’s satisfaction that Nekrasov’s documentary would not draw a large audience represents what is becoming a new paradigm in U.S. mainstream journalism, the idea that it is the media’s duty to protect the American people from seeing divergent narratives on sensitive geopolitical issues.

Over the past year, we have seen a growing hysteria about “Russian propaganda” and “fake news” with The New York Timesand other major news outlets eagerly awaiting algorithms that can be unleashed on the Internet to eradicate information that groups like Google’s First Draft Coalition deem “false.”

First Draft consists of the Times, the Post, other mainstream outlets, and establishment-approved online news sites, such as Bellingcat with links to the pro-NATO think tank, Atlantic Council. First Draft’s job will be to serve as a kind of Ministry of Truth and thus shield the public from information that is deemed propaganda or untrue.

In the meantime, there is the ad hoc approach that was applied to Nekrasov’s documentary. Having missed the Newseum showing, I was only able to view the film because I was given a special password to an online version.

From searches that I did on Wednesday, Nekrasov’s film was not available on Amazon although a pro-Magnitsky documentary was. I did find a streaming service that appeared to have the film available.

But the Post’s editors were right in their expectation that “The film won’t grab a wide audience.” Instead, it has become a good example of how political and legal pressure can effectively black out what we used to call “the other side of the story.” The film now, however, has unexpectedly become a factor in the larger drama of Russia-gate and the drive to remove Donald Trump Sr. from the White House.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

Posted in Russia0 Comments

Russia Baiters and Putin Haters

NOVANEWS

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By Pat Buchanan 

“Is Russia an enemy of the United States?” NBC’s Kasie Hunt demanded of Ted Cruz. Replied the runner-up for the GOP nomination, “Russia is a significant adversary. Putin is a KGB thug.”

To Hillary Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., entertained an offer from the Russians for dirt on Clinton could be considered “treason.”

Treason is giving aid and comfort to an enemy in a time of war.

Are we really at war with Russia? Is Russia really our enemy?

“Why Russia is a Hostile Power” is the title of today’s editorial in The Washington Post that seeks to explain why Middle America should embrace the Russophobia of our capital city:

“Vladimir Putin adheres to a set of values that are antithetical to bedrock American values. He favors spheres of influence over self-determination; corruption over transparency; and repression over democracy.”

Yet, accommodating a sphere of influence for a great power is exactly what FDR and Churchill did with Stalin, and every president from Truman to George H. W. Bush did with the Soviet Union.

When East Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles rose up against Communist regimes, no U.S. president intervened. For those nations were on the other side of the Yalta line agreed to in 1945.

Bush I and James Baker even accused Ukrainians of “suicidal nationalism” for contemplating independence from Russia.

When did support for spheres of influence become un-American?

As for supporting “corruption over transparency,” ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili resigned in disgust as governor of Odessa in November, accusing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, our man in Kiev, of supporting corruption.

As for favoring “repression over democracy,” would that not apply to our NATO ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, and our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte? Were U.S. Cold War allies like the Shah of Iran and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile all Jeffersonian Democrats? Have we forgotten our recent history?

The Post brought up the death in prison of lawyer-activist Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. Under the Magnitsky Act of 2012, Congress voted sanctions on Russia’s elites.

Yet China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison for championing democracy, died Thursday of liver cancer, with police in his hospital room. Communist dictator Xi Jinping, who makes Putin look like Justin Trudeau, would not let the dying man go.

Will Magnitsky Act sanctions be slammed on China? Don’t bet on it. Too much trade. Congress will do what comes naturally — kowtow. Yet our heroic Senate voted 98-2 to slam new sanctions on Russia.

What are the roots of this hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin, whom a Fox analyst called “as bad as Hitler”?

During the Cold War, every president sought detente with a USSR that was arguably the most blood-soaked regime of the century.

When the Cold War ended in December 1991, the Soviet Union had dissolved into 15 nations. Moscow had given up her empire, a third of her territory, and half the population of the USSR. Marxist-Leninist ideology was dead. An epochal change had taken place.

Yet hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin seem to exceed anything some of us remember from the worst days of the Cold War.

Putin’s Russia is called imperialist, though Estonia, next door, which Russia could swallow in one gulp, has been free for 25 years.

Russia invaded Georgia. Well, yes, after Georgia invaded the seceded province of South Ossetia and killed Russian peacekeepers.

Russia has taken back Crimea from Ukraine. True, but only after a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev replaced the elected pro-Russian regime.

Russia has intervened to back Bashar Assad in Syria. Yes, but only after our insurgent allies collaborated with al-Qaida and ISIS to bring him down. Is Russia not allowed to support an ally, recognized by the U.N., which provides its only naval base on the Med?

Russia has meddled in our election. And we have meddled in the affairs of half a dozen nations with “color-coded revolutions.” The cry of “regime change!” may daily be heard in the U.S. Capitol.

Putin is not Pope Francis. But he is not Stalin; he is not Hitler; he is not Mao; and Russia today is not the USSR. Putin is an autocrat cut from the same bolt of cloth as the Romanov czars.

His cooperation is crucial to the peace of the world, the freedom of the Baltic States, an end to the Syrian civil war, tranquility in the Persian Gulf, and solving the North Korean crisis.

While our tectonic plates may rub against one another, we are natural allies. The Russia of Tolstoy, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn and the Orthodox Church belongs with the West.

If America stumbles into a war with Russia that all our Cold War presidents avoided, the Russia baiters and Putin haters will be put in same circle of hell by history as the idiot war hawks of 1914 and the three blind men of Versailles in 1919.

Posted in USA, Russia0 Comments

Read the CIA’s 1951 listicle comparing U.S and Soviet Propaganda

NOVANEWS

Agency memo found 33 similarities between Voice of America and its USSR counterparts

By: Alec Shea

In 1951, as the Cold War was intensifying, the CIA decided to see how Voice of America radio broadcasts into Eastern Europe compared with Soviet efforts. In a remarkably candid document, the Agency critically assessed the similarities and differences between U.S. and Soviet propaganda.

Today, VOA claims that it was founded during the Second World War to provide “Unbiased and accurate information.” The CIA officers assessing VOA in 1951, though, saw the service as essentially similar to Soviet propaganda, going so far as saying that most Americans would be surprised by the similarities between the two.

The document proposes that similarities could be the result of opposing countries imitating the propaganda put out by their rivals, and even posits the existence of an “international propagandists culture” that tended to produce similar techniques

The document includes a list of 33 main similarities between Soviet and American propaganda, including the “impression of objectivity,” “avoiding obvious lying on tangible facts,” blurring distinctions within enemy camp,” and “not dignifying opponent’s position by quoting it.”

However, it was in identifying where the two styles differed that the Agency saw the most strategic value.

Some of the differences that the CIA identified included “Soviet Conflict-Mindedness” …

which was directly opposed to “Greater American Fact-Mindedness”

Changes in the National Defense Authorization Act this year ignited fears that VOA could be marketing itself to an American audience. If it does, the American public may get a direct demonstration of exactly what the “international propagandists culture” looks like today.

Read the complete report.

Edited by JPat Brown

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